Fast bowler recovering well from back injury July 22, 2006

'I will be back' - Balaji

Cricinfo staff



L Balaji's comeback bid is going according to plan © Getty Images

Lakshmipathy Balaji, the Indian fast bowler, is making encouraging progress with his recovery from a back injury, according to John Gloster, the Indian team physio. Balaji, who has now actively resumed his fitness training, said that his back had healed well and confirmed that he would attend the fitness camp in Bangalore starting on July 25 with the rest of the Indian squad.

"Mr. Gloster was extremely happy with the progress I have made", Balaji told The Hindu. "He has given me a schedule to follow and asked me to approach the recovery process in a phased manner. He said there was no need to rush things."

Balaji has been out of competitive cricket since last November, missing almost the entire domestic season. He travelled to Australia in February to diagnose his injury, and doctors adviced him against surgery.

He resumed bowling in the nets in May, and took a fitness test under the supervision of Gloster, hoping to make a comeback to the Indian Test squad for the tour of the West Indies. However, Gloster recently told Cricinfo that the purpose of the test was mainly to determine if he was ready to resume bowling, and that it was still early days in his rehabilitation. He added that Balaji is now in the final stages of his recovery from a lumbar spine stress fracture.

When asked about his own assessment of his recovery, Balaji said that he is now bowling at 60-70% of his bowling speed. "The important thing is that I am feeling good", he added. "I will be back."

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